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ILO Standard on Gender Based Violence

Oct 10, 2014

The November 2014 session of the ILO Governing Body will again discuss a proposal to include a standard setting item on “violence against women and men in the world of work” on the agenda of a future International Labour Conference. This item was last discussed at the March 2014 Governing Body and whilst there was strong support from some governments, the proposal was not supported by the employers. The Worker’s Group has consistently supported the proposal as a first priority.

In order for the proposal to be accepted by the Governing Body (GB), we will therefore need to persuade more governments to support it as a first priority, and to convince some national employers’ associations that are members of the GB to support the proposal.

For PSI, ending violence against women is a top-priority. Violence against women creates inequality, affecting the well-being of current and future generations. Violence and the threat of it deprives women of their basic human rights. Quality public services are often the only shield and support for women in this situation.

Therefore, we call on PSI affiliates to take action and send letters to the members of the ILO Governing Body and their governments by 20th October.

PSI supports the ITUC campaign for this new international labour standard.

A toolkit is available for download, consisting of:

In terms of target governments, we want to:

  • Keep on side the governments who strongly supported the proposal (1st priority) in March: Australia, Canada, Cuba, Germany, India, Netherlands, Italy, Sri Lanka, United States and Uruguay;

  • Sway those who supported the proposal but gave higher priority to other proposals – notably the Africa Group (esp. Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania ), which had the proposal as fourth priority;

  • And persuade the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden + Switzerland), who felt that the proposal could be dealt with as part of the recurrent discussion on labour protection in 2015, as a general discussion item and/or through an ILO strategy to eliminate violence in the world of work.

Other governments it would be useful for us to target include:

  • Argentina

  • Bangladesh

  • Brazil

  • France

  • Indonesia

  • Japan

  • Mexico

  • Spain

For employer’s associations, key targets could include Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Kenya, Spain, South Africa and the United States.

We would ask you to keep us informed of your lobbying efforts and the positions that your government and employers’ associations are adopting. You can send your updates to [email protected]

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